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N-deal: Congress rejects deadline set by Left parties

July 04, 2008 16:41 IST

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The Congress on Friday rejected the deadline set by the Left parties to the United Progressive Alliance government to clarify whether it was going ahead on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Sovereign governments or political parties cannot be subjected to deadlines, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters minutes after the Left parties set a July 7 deadline for the government to clarify its position on approaching the International Atomic Energy Agency for the safeguards agreement.

"We are working towards triple objectives -- to do a nuclear deal in national interest, to carry along our allies with us for that purpose and to go to elections as per the Constitutional schedule," he said.

Rejecting suggestions of an "unholy alliance", Singhvi said, "Samajwadi Party and the Congress have never been mutually untouchable in the same sense as the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress and the BJP."

Singhvi said the Congress had not changed its stand on the nuclear deal "by even one millimeter".

"We believe that the nuclear deal is in the national interest and are happy that other parties in the national interest are slowly converging to our view point," he said.

Asked whether the bonhomie with the Samajwadi Party would extend to Uttar Pradesh, he said, "I need to emphasise that the current contextual developments were at the national level. I have said nothing at the regional level."

"However, once cooperation and convergence starts at the national level, it is not unnatural of it to assume wider proportions subsuming regional levels also," Singhvi said.

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